Nexus 6 Smartphone and Nexus 9 Tablet Keep Google in the Mobile Game

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-11-04
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Nexus 6 Smartphone and Nexus 9 Tablet Keep Google in the Mobile Game
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    Nexus 6 Smartphone and Nexus 9 Tablet Keep Google in the Mobile Game

    By Don Reisinger
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    Nexus 6 Will Arrive With Wide Carrier Support
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    Nexus 6 Will Arrive With Wide Carrier Support

    Don't worry about carrier support when it comes to the Nexus 6. The device, which is available through the Google Play store for a starting price of $649 outside of a contract, will work on all four major U.S. carriers—AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Sprint. In addition, the handset will be available to US Cellular customers. According to Google, availability will vary by carrier and retailer.
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    Nexus 9 Runs Android 5.0 Lollipop
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    Nexus 9 Runs Android 5.0 Lollipop

    Following all previous Nexus devices, the Nexus 9 tablet is running the standard build of Android. This time around, it's Android 5.0 (Lollipop). The operating system comes with better performance, enhanced notifications handling, battery-saving features and more. Google says that the Nexus 9 has been optimized to take full advantage of Android 5.0.
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    Nexus 6 Runs Lollipop Too
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    Nexus 6 Runs Lollipop Too

    No surprise here, but the Nexus 6 comes with the standard build of Android 5.0 (Lollipop), too. That means that the same battery-saving features, improved performance and new Material Design have come to the device. Lollipop is the new gold standard for Android, and since this is a Nexus product, it's no surprise no changes have been made to the operating system experience.
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    Nexus 9: The Device's Design Is Strong and Has Three Colors
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    Nexus 9: The Device's Design Is Strong and Has Three Colors

    The Nexus 9 likely won't break any world records in terms of beautiful design, but it's by no means ugly. The tablet has a black face and a thin bezel on either side. In addition, it comes in the customer's choice of a white, black or gold back plate. One other important design note: The device comes with brushed metal sides.
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    Nexus 6 Hardware Specifications Are Solid
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    Nexus 6 Hardware Specifications Are Solid

    It's hard to find much fault in the Nexus 6's specs. The handset comes with a 6-inch screen that has a 2,560-by-1,440-pixel display. The phone's processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, and it has the Adreno 420 GPU. Customers can choose between a 32GB or 64GB version.
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    Nexus 9 Delivers Same Google Experience Customers Expect
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    Nexus 9 Delivers Same Google Experience Customers Expect

    Since it's running the standard Android Lollipop build, it shouldn't surprise anyone that Google services are all over the tablet's software. Owners will find Gmail, Google Maps, the Google Play marketplace, Google's music services and much more. The Nexus devices help Google promote its myriad services and get customers invested in them all.
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    Nexus 6 Has a Better Camera Than You Might Expect
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    Nexus 6 Has a Better Camera Than You Might Expect

    The Nexus might not be a flagship device compared with the highest of the high end, like the Galaxy Note 4, but it's certainly getting there. The smartphone has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization and other key features that make it work well in low light. The front-facing camera is a 2-megapixel option.
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    Nexus 9 Poses Challenge to Microsoft Surface Tablet
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    Nexus 9 Poses Challenge to Microsoft Surface Tablet

    The Nexus 9 is designed to take aim at the Microsoft Surface. Google has unveiled a magnetically attached keyboard that can be attached to the Nexus 9 and that allows for typing at a wide range of angles. While the add-on is sold separately, when it's attached, it looks surprisingly similar to Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 slate.
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    Nexus 6 Battery Charges Quickly, Wirelessly
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    Nexus 6 Battery Charges Quickly, Wirelessly

    One of the nice things about getting a Nexus device is that consumers can be assured that it's optimized to work with Android. That's probably why the device's 3,220mAh battery can get up to 6 hours of use in only 15 minutes of charging. Android Lollipop has been optimized for better wireless charging, and the hardware itself has been optimized to use that feature. All of that translates to getting more battery life on a single charge. In fact, users can get more than 24 hours of use on a single charge.
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    Nexus 9 Is Available for Preorder
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    Nexus 9 Is Available for Preorder

    The Google Nexus 9 will be available to customers for between $399 and $479, depending on the version they choose. The cheaper option is for 16GB of onboard storage, while 32GB of data bumps the price. As of this writing, the Nexus 9 is available for preorder and will leave Google's warehouse in one to two business days.
 

Google has started marketing the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, and it's time for mobile device buyers to decide whether they are worthwhile alternatives to products like Apple's iPhone 6 or the iPad Air 2.  Mobile devices within Google's Nexus lines historically haven't been huge sellers, but the products have been important benchmarks in the Android ecosystem and still act as test cases of what the latest Android installation can deliver. But this slide show will not focus exclusively on Android 5.0 Lollipop. Instead, it's time to focus on hardware and what the Nexus 9, a tablet, and the Nexus 6, a smartphone, can deliver to customers. While these latest devices are unlikely to seriously cut into sales of comparable Apple or Samsung, models, they will likely prove competitive on a number of technical points. Both devices have some nice specifications and appear to come with solid designs, offering good prospects that they could prove to be the right fit for some mobile device buyers. This eWEEK slide show takes a quick look at the features of the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 to help buyers decide how they might shape up in comparison with similar products on the market.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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